Nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans describe the coronavirus as “extremely serious,” according to polling released Monday from the de Beaumont Foundation.
Sixty-two percent of Democrats called the current state of the pandemic “extremely serious,” while 33 percent of Republicans said the same. Eighty-six percent of African Americans said the pandemic was "very serious" or "extremely serious," compared to 74 percent of adults overall.
Asked about the best possible strategy for dealing with the virus, Republicans were more likely to favor reopening businesses and “learn[ing] to live with the virus.” Democrats, however, were more likely to choose “close down a little more since the virus has gotten worse.”
Just under a quarter of respondents, 23 percent, said someone close to them has died from the virus. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to know someone, at 30 percent versus 18 percent. Thirty-four percent of African Americans knew someone who had died from COVID-19.
Americans across the board said they trust public health officials and scientists more than President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE, or their member of Congress, governor or mayor. Fifty-nine percent of respondents across parties said wearing face masks are the most “sensible, responsible and impactful” way to stem the virus.
The survey also found respondents agree more with mitigation measures when they are described as “protocols” as opposed to “mandates,” “controls,” “orders” or “directives.”
“Based on our findings, our leaders need to remove politics and partisanship from their messaging and give Americans a better reason to comply other than because it’s good for them,” pollster Frank Luntz, who conducted the survey, said in a statement. “They must remind people that it’s also good for the people they love and will speed up the return to a strong economy and a normal life.”
Pollsters surveyed 800 registered voters from Nov. 21-22. The survey has a 3-point margin of error.